Home Research & Education Unique items for space travel using 3D printing

Unique items for space travel using 3D printing

NebulaForm has been accepted into the space incubator of the European Space Agency (ESA). The startup, which emerged from the research group of Prof. Dr. Dr.-Ing. Yilmaz Uygun at Constructor University, plans to use the world’s largest Delta 3D printer for the space industry and to develop a 3D printer for use in space.

The “ESA BIC Northern Germany” space incubator in Bremen supports start-ups for up to two years with tailored training and financial support of 50,000 euros.

“The incubator also enables us to grow in the aerospace industry with its specific requirements and to further develop our technology,” says Uygun.

The Delta 3D printer developed by NebulaForm has a printing range of up to 1.5 meters in radius and a printing height of up to 3 meters. Originally developed with own funds, the project was later funded by the Kieserling Foundation and the EXIST program of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. The printer was also recognized as an outstanding innovation as part of the Bremen 3D Idea Award.

In the aerospace industry, many components are manufactured as one-offs or in small series. Prof. Uygun and his partner Serkan Özkan are convinced that certain space equipment can be produced more quickly, cost-effectively and with optimized weight using 3D printing. They plan to further develop their printer by using new materials such as carbon fibers and high-performance plastics that can withstand temperatures of over 300 degrees Celsius. The printing area is to be expanded to 24 cubic meters. With this capacity, you could already print a car, compares Uygun.

NebulaForm is also working on an innovative, small-format printer that is based on a rotating axis and can be used in space. Traditional 3D printers rely on gravity to print layer by layer, which is not possible in zero gravity. The first space agency has already shown interest in this printer, which could be tested in space next year.

Students at Constructor University also benefit from the innovations and experience gained in the incubator.

“We always incorporate our current research findings into our teaching and discuss the results with the students,” says Uygun. “Teaching and research go hand in hand.”

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